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A moral education? British Values, colour-blindness, and preventing terrorism

Winter, C., Heath-Kelly, C., Kaleem, A. & Mills, C. (2022). A moral education? British Values, colour-blindness, and preventing terrorism. Critical Social Policy, 42(1), pp. 85-106. doi: 10.1177/0261018321998926


The Prevent strategy tasks the British education sector with preventing radicalisation and extremism. It defines extremism as opposition to fundamental British Values and requires schools to promote these values and refer students and staff believed to be vulnerable to radicalisation. Little research examining the enactment of the Prevent and British Values curriculum has included students. To fill this gap, we investigated how students, teachers and Prevent/British Values trainers engage with this curriculum by conducting individual interviews in two multicultural secondary schools in England, framing the study in recent work on colour-blindness. We found that whilst multiculturalism was celebrated, discussion about everyday structural racism was avoided. Critical thinking was performed strategically, and classrooms were securitised as sites for identifying potential safeguarding referrals. Moral education, colour-blindness and safeguarding intersected to negate racialised experiences, whilst exposing students and teachers to racialised Prevent referrals.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright, the authors 2021.
Publisher Keywords: British Values, colour-blindness, curriculum, Prevent, ‘race’
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
L Education
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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